Heat Pump Ratings for Homeowners
If you’re considering upgrading to a heat pump to reduce your energy consumption, you’ll want to compare the efficiency ratings for different models. This is easier to accomplish if you’re familiar with what the efficiency ratings mean and where to find them.
Heat Pump Efficiency Rating Basics
Heat pumps are always given two ratings: one for their heating efficiency and one for their cooling efficiency. Additionally, there are different efficiency terms for air source and geothermal heat pumps. You’ll find the two ratings for a specific unit on its yellow EnergyGuide label. Here’s a guide to help you understand what the ratings mean, broken down by equipment type.
Air Source Heat Pumps
- Seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER). Both split-system and ductless mini-split units have a SEER rating, just like air conditioners. Currently, the ratings range from SEER 14 to 23, and higher-rated units are more efficient. The rating tells you the amount of heat the unit moves during a single cooling season, divided by the kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy used.
- Heating seasonal performance factor (HSPF). This rating describes a unit’s heating efficiency, and it can range from 8.2 up to 13 HSPF for the most efficient models. The HSPF is a measure of the British thermal units (BTU) produced divided by the kWh of electricity consumed.
Geothermal Heat Pumps
- Energy efficiency ratio (EER). This rating is for cooling efficiency, and it can range from 13 up to a highly-efficient 45 EER. It represents the BTU of cooling provided per watt of energy used during a single hour at a constant 95 degrees.
- Co-efficient of performance (COP). The COP rating tells you the equipment’s heating efficiency. It measures the amount of BTU the unit provides per watt of energy consumed. The ratings can range from 2 to 5.5, and higher-rated equipment is always the most efficient.